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Are You Dealing with Chronic Pain?

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This post is part of a guest blog exchange between The Neighborhood Pharmacy and Core Wellness & Physical Therapy. We hope these posts are beneficial to our patients, customers, and the Del Ray community.

If you have chronic or daily pain, your doctor may prescribe over-the-counter or prescription medications to help you control your symptoms. Working with a physical therapist will help you to develop a plan that involves a range of treatments, which may include hot or cold therapies, massage or exercise, to name some of the possibilities.

In our blog series, we have addressed how physical therapy can work in conjunction with medications you may be taking to help you heal from an injury or another medical condition. In this post, we will provide tips for managing chronic pain.

Identify Your Triggers

If you suffer from daily pain, the most important thing to do is to listen to your body. Take note of what causes the pain to intensify. What are your pain triggers? What are your sleep and exercise (or lack thereof) habits which affect your pain? Are there foods or substances that affect it?

WebMD recommends keeping a journal. “Keeping a log or journal of your daily ‘pain score’ will help you track your pain. At the end of each day, note your pain level on the 1 to 10 pain scale. Also, note what activities you did that day. Take this log book to every doctor visit — to give your doctor a good understanding of how you’re living with chronic pain and your physical functioning level.”

When you work with a physical therapist it is important to let your therapist know about any pain you are experiencing, any medications you are taking, and any side effects you may be having, to make sure your treatment plan is appropriate.

Resources

Chronic pain can be a very difficult condition, but there are resources that can help you understand how to manage your pain. Of course, we recommend first that you see your doctor to diagnose any pain that you experience and that you work with a professional physical therapist.

• “Pain Management: Treatment Overview,” gives a general overview of pain management.

• “11 Tips for Living With Chronic Pain” provides a range of suggestions for managing pain, including reducing stress, trying meditation and deep breathing, and giving up smoking and alcohol.

• “6 Steps to Get Pain Relief with Physical Therapy and Exercise” by Spine-Health explains how physical therapy works and ways to properly exercise to reduce chronic pain.

• “Identifying Pain Points for Pain Management” provides tips for how to identify your pain points so your medical professional can find the cause of your pain.

• This short video by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center explains how physical therapists work to alleviate pain.

Pain Matters is a Discovery Channel documentary that explores the subject of chronic pain and pain management.

Take care of yourself and seek professional care if you are experiencing pain.

Please stop by or call pharmacist Stacey Swartz of The Neighborhood Pharmacy if you have any questions about taking chronic pain. If you have questions about how your physical therapy will be affected by chronic pain, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Polis of Core Wellness.

Be well.

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the October 2014 issue of The Neighborhood Pharmacy News. If you would like to subscribe, send them your name at subscribe@delraypharmacy.com.

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